Will the Fine-Food Sector Whet Investor Appetites?

Dividend payments and rents are all very well as returns on your investment, but wouldn’t you rather be paid in chocolate?

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That’s right, chocolate. Last year, the British chocolate company Hotel Chocolat, which owns the Rabot chocolate estate in St. Lucia, needed to raise business finance. Investors were invited to chip in and benefit from the interest in real chocolate. The payment on the mini-bond they were issuing came to 7.33% in chocolates or 7.25% in credit in-store.

Wheel Out the Parmesan

They’re not the only ones. Cheese producer 4 Madonne Caseificio dell’Emilia has a Parmigiano Reggiano factory that makes cheese in four separate places with four different codes. They’ve been in business since the 1960s and offer Parmesan cheeses that are aged up to 75 months. But last February they hit the market with a mini-bond that raised £4.7m, guaranteed by those precious wheels of branded Parmesan.

Of course, they’re somewhat prone to earthquakes in that bit of Italy, and a quake in 2012 is reported to have destroyed nearly a quarter of a million wheels of Parmesan. But it takes more than a few magnitude 6 tremors to shake the world’s love of Parmesan, so this investment may set a trend. Ask Robert Stones Target Markets whether this is one for you.

Roll out the Barrel

Cheese and chocolate are all very well, but some investors are looking for the harder stuff. They may have found it. Arbikie is a whisky distillery in Scotland that also produces gin, chilli vodka and potato vodka. It uses mountain-filtered water from its own underground lagoon. There’s been distilling on the site since 1794, in what Aribikie describes as a farm-to-bottle culture. But in April last year it was bottle to market, as Arbikie offered to sell its first 300 barrels for a price of £10,000 per barrel. The unique thing was that they offered to buy them back again for £10,000 each in eight years’ time. Robert Stones Target Markets is the kind of firm that will help you sort the chaff from the wheat – or is it rye?

This brings a new meaning and enjoyment to the idea of your investment maturing. Hopefully, in eight years the drink will be delicious, and if you sell your barrel, the profit will be equally tasty.